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The Insider's Guide to Chicago's Best Deep-Dish Pizza

Deep-dish pizza isn't just for Chicago tourists. Locals eat it too — judiciously, chowing down on the very best slices they've discovered in a lifetime of eating deep dish. These are the spots they dine at.

1 / 9

Pizano's, multiple locations

The original father of Chicago deep-dish pizza was Rudy Malnati Sr. of Pizzeria Uno. It turns out the apple indeed doesn't fall too far from the tree, as his son Rudy Jr., who owns this burgeoning local franchise, puts out the ideal modern version of the deep-dish form. The key here is a buttery, crisp crust that provides enough depth for the pies to qualify as deep dish but isn't so thick that it overwhelms the cheese and other ingredients.

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2 / 9

Pequod's, two locations

The pie at Pequod's is not entirely a pure Chicago-style deep dish. It's more of a hybrid of Chicago style and the focaccia-like bread crust of Sicilian "grandma" pies. What's absolutely distinct and gives it the edge, literally, over other deep-dish comers is the halo of crispy blackened cheese that rims the outside of the pie. It looks like it's burnt, but it's just a deep caramelization that's nutty, smoky and better than any single ingredient you could top a pizza with.

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3 / 9

Labriola (Chicago) and La Barra (Riverside and Oak Brook)

The sign of any great pizza is that the crust is so good that even the unadorned parts never get left on the plate. And that's what happens at Labriola and La Barra. Labriola got its start as a bread-baking concern and in the process produced artisanal-style loaves for some of Chicago's best restaurants. The owners took this bread-baking experience and created for the pizzas in their restaurant a deep-dish crust filled with airy bubbles, the kind you might find in a good croissant. As a result, even the most-carb-conscious diners will have a tough time leaving any part of the slice behind.

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4 / 9

My Pi

The crust here is a darker brown, almost mahogany color, a departure from the buttery golden crusts found on most deep-dish pizzas. The edges have the consistency of a well-toasted loaf of Italian bread. The sauce here has a pepperiness that makes you salivate, while the hunks of fennel-infused sausage put this pie over the top. Deep-dish pizza usually collapses on itself or exudes a ton of moisture and gets soggy during delivery, but for some reason My Pi's deep dish seems to hold up better than most. So if you need deep dish but can't leave your house or your hotel room, try ordering from this spot.

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